L-bird Squadron at Cannon Field

Alamo Liaison Squadron maintains a complete collection of the light WWII liaison aircraft known as L-birds, including Taylorcraft L-2, Aeronca L-3, Piper L-4, Stinson L-5, and Interstate L-6 flying examples. While many of these aircraft are now owned by ALS, others are (or have in the past been) owned by individual squadron members who base their aircraft at the field.

Representatives, past and present, of the ALS fleet:

  • 1941 Stinson L-1F Vigilant (41-18915) first restored at Cannon Field, now resides at Alaska Aviation Museum in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1943 Taylorcraft L-2M Grasshopper (DCO-65) Whispering Hope owned by ALS*
  • 1943 Taylorcraft L-2A Grasshopper (DCO-65) owned by ALS* (recognized member Baylor Randle)
  • 1953 Taylorcraft L-2C Grasshopper (DC-65) privately owned, Bill Pittman
  • 1944 Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper (DCO-65) prev owned by ALS, whereabouts unknown (N57538 Garry Holcomb, Point, Texas)
  • 1943 Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper (DCO-65, 326323) Ruptured Duck prev members Larry Carr & Tommie Thompson, whereabouts unknown (N58036 Isaac Lang, Cumming, Georgia)
  • 1943 Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper (DCO-65) prev at Cannon Field c. 1998, whereabouts unknown (N46347 Chester Bruington, San Antonio, Texas)
  • 1942 Aeronca L-3 Defender (O-58B) owned by ALS*
  • 1943 Aeronca L-3 Defender (O-58B-8553, 31925) Fire! prev at Cannon Field, whereabouts unknown (Jeffrey Reynolds, Flower Mound, Texas, N57714)
  • 1942 Aeronca L-3 Defender (O-58B, 236152) Strafin prev member Henry Whitmore, whereabouts unknown (N52169 Lee Montgomery, Corsicana, Texas)
  • 1940 Aeronca L-3 Defender (65-TC, sn 2640T) U.S. Army prev at Cannon Field 1996, whereabouts unknown (N29212)
  • 1935 Aeronca C-3 (sn 526, N14640) restored at Cannon Field in 1984, now resides at Shannon Air Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • 1940 Piper L-4 Grasshopper (J3C-65, 00-4644) Just The Bear Necessities privately owned, Gene Jensen
  • 1945 Piper L-4 Grasshopper (J3C-65, 14053) WK prev member Wesley Kyle c. 1984, whereabouts unknown (N33576 Joel Hackett, Easton, Maryland)
  • 2008 L-4 replica Taylor Cub (Legend AL11) privately owned, Mike Taylor
  • 2006 L-4 replica Combat Cub (Legend AL3) prev member Alton Kenne 2006–2014, whereabouts unknown (N532AK John Mitchell, Illinois)
  • 1941 AE-1 Piper Cub Cruiser (J-5A) privately owned, Brian McEnery
  • 1939 Piper J-3C-65 Flitfire Texas (NC23413) prev owned by ALS 1983–2022, whereabouts unknown (N23413 Virginia)
  • 1942 Stinson L-5 Sentinel (sn 1428) restored at Cannon Field c. 1984, whereabouts unknown (N6438C, Leesburg, Virginia)
  • 1944 Stinson L-5C Sentinel (44-17334) Burma Babe owned by ALS* (recognized member Fabian Fonseca)
  • 1944 Stinson L-5C Sentinel (44-17397) Delfina prev owned by ALS, whereabouts unknown (N45TX Bill Lux, Spokane, Washington)
  • 1945 Stinson L-5 (44-17280) guest at ALS April 2015 picnic (N178 exported to Brazil in 2018)
  • 1942 Interstate L-6/L-8 Cadet (S-1A) owned by ALS* (recognized member Stan Pennington)
  • 1943 Interstate L-6 (S-1B1, sn 168) restored at Cannon Field c. 1984
  • 1941 Universal L-7 (Monocoupe 90AF) only 20 built, did not participate in Louisiana Maneuvers

Fun facts

Liaison planes are painted completely olive drab (green) instead of having their undersides painted light blue. That they typically fly so low on missions, they are better camouflaged among the trees and hills in the all-drab coat. –America’s Fighting Planes in Action, Reed Kinert

The L-1 thru L-6 were the only Liaison aircraft to also carry the “O” moniker for Observation (in their original military enlistment).

The aircraft of Alamo Liaison Squadron are flown by veteran pilots who have mastered the art of flying a “taildragger,” aircraft so named for their single rear wheel, a.k.a. conventional landing gear. During the year, squadron pilots perform flyovers for local events such as the Poteet Strawberry Festival parade, Floresville Peanut Festival, Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies to name a few.

Squadron members fly the ALS fleet of liaison aircraft and work on their restoration and maintenance. Over the years, dozens of aircraft have come back to life at the hands of skilled squadron members. The art of “tube-and-fabric” aircraft construction, once a vanishing talent, is alive and well today at Cannon Field.

*Your tax deductible donation will help to support the preservation of these aircraft.

More on L-birds in the EAA video below…